Hawks pull away from Wildcats in fourth quarter

By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Jan. 7, 2008 - Sulphur Springs first-year head coach Braughn Curtis would like to forget the Wildcats' fourth quarter against the Pleasant Grove Hawks Saturday afternoon at Wildcat Gym.

With both teams tied at 50-50 heading into the final quarter, Sulphur Springs was outscored 19-12 and shot 5-of-15 from the field as the Hawks won 69-62 in non-district action.

"We didn't play real well defensively," Curtis said. "We just didn't play well, and we let too many guy dribble penetrate to the rim and shoot layups. On the offensive end, we definitely made some strides and we are running plays and getting the ball where we need it to be.

"The game was up-tempo and we weren't getting to the right places, and we were not getting after it like we can. They came down and had a couple of possessions in the fourth quarter where we just went down hill."

The Wildcats (14-8) have one final non-district game at home against Class 3A's sixth-ranked Pittsburg Pirates Tuesday night. The varsity is scheduled to tipoff around 7:30 p.m.

"I am looking to compete a lot better than we did against Pleasant Grove," the coach said. "Pittsburg is going to be athletic and this is going to be a good test before district and I hope we come ready to play."

SSHS was led in scoring by Jonathan Lee with 17 points to go along with four rebounds and one assist, while Colton Nash had a near double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds. Tyrik Rollison and Anthony Mills scored nine points each for the Wildcats.

In the first three quarters, neither team held more than a three-point lead as the score was tied 16-16 after the first quarter, SSHS held a 34-33 lead at the half and the teams were tied at 50-50 after three quarters.

The Hawks held a 12-9 lead in the first quarter on an alley-oop layup from C.J. Broades, who scored a game-high 27 points as he shot 9-of-13 from the field. SSHS then responded with a 5-4 run to tie the game at 16-16 on buckets by Rollison and Lee and a free throw by Kedrick Dial.

The teams continued to battle back-and-forth in the second quarter as SSHS held its biggest lead of the first half at, 32-29, on a bucket by Dial off an Andrew Panter assist and a free throw from Mills with 1:35 remaining in the first half.

Following two free throws from Pleasant Grove's Logan Ashby and an offensive putback from Damien Watts, Wildcat guard Rashad Hall scored a layup to give the Wildcats the one-point lead at the half.

Rollison opened up the third quarter with a 3-pointer from the top of the key as SSHS held its biggest lead of the game at 37-33 before Broades scored five unanswered points to give the Hawks a 38-37 lead. The teams traded the lead for the remainder of the third quarter and Nash tied the game at 50-50 off an assist from Hall with time running out in the quarter.

Pleasant Grove took control of the game in the fourth quarter as Michael Wacha scored a fast-break layup for a 58-52 lead. With five minutes remaining in the game, Lee scored on an inbound play from Rollison and then Rollison was called for a technical for reaching over the inbound line as Broades nailed 1-of-2 free throws for the 59-54 lead.

"I just got through reading the rules and it should have been a warning at first but it is a very vague rule," the coach said. "We need Ty in there making plays for us. Ty was just trying to defend the ball and not do anything unnecessary."

SSHS shot 27-of-60 (45 percent) compared to 25-of-43 (58.1 percent) for Pleasant Grove, and outrebounded the Hawks 32-26. The Hawks went 17-of-23 (72.7 percent) at the free throw line, compared to 5-of-13 (38.5 percent) for the Wildcats.

In the junior varsity game, the Wildcats won 52-51 on a last-second layup by Lemarcus Kendricks. Jesse Vasquez led the team in scoring with 19 points.

In freshman action, the Wildcats won 56-32 as they held a 29-18 lead at the half and a 43-28 lead after three quarters of play. Kaylon Alexander led the team with 23 points, while classmates Alvin Frazier scored nine points and Charles Carns scored six points.

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